Science

Science

Department Information

At Brayton academy, the science department deliver GCSE content starting in year 7. It may seem a little scary to throw a child straight out of primary school in the deep end of GCSE. But there is a good reason for it.

There are two big problems with the traditional science curriculum that almost everyone agrees on:

  1. Too much content

The list of what students have to learn in KS3 (11-14) and GCSE (11-14) gets ever longer, and the cognitive demand of the exams is increasing. Hardly any content has been removed to compensate.

  1. Too little understanding

Students can recall what they were taught, but many are unable to apply knowledge if the context of a question is unfamiliar. This is after learning science for 11 years.

The solution to the above problems lies in better curriculum design. GCSE criteria is our end goal. So why not start there. A stretched five year curriculum focused on delivery of GCSE concepts allows an opportunity for mastery of content and gives us sufficient time to equip our students with the skills needed for a scientific journey.

Our scheme of work aims to blend GCSE content and working scientifically whilst giving students the freedom to explore scientific concepts through extended practical enquiry. Our GCSE content is grouped based on the principals and big ideas of science education published in 2009 by Wynne Harlen. The report indicates that students should be helped to develop ‘big ideas’ of science and about science that will enable them to understand the scientific aspects of the world around them and make informed decisions about its applications. At Brayton Academy, we endeavour to make our students learning experience interesting, engaging and seen as relevant to their lives. It also considers the progression from small ideas about specific events, phenomena and objects to more abstract and widely applicable ideas and the significant aspects of pedagogy that are required to support this progression.

Your child will study

 

It is vital that a curriculum spanning a five-year delivery is scaffold in a way that promotes retention and progression. With this in mind, the science department have worked hard to ensure our curriculum spirals with sufficient depth to ensure our students are prepared for the demand of GCSE examinations and beyond.

We achieve our spiralling curriculum through the following initiatives

Required practical’s

The new GCSE requires students to complete a mandatory set of practical activities related to various scientific concepts. It is not enough for students to simply complete the practical and remember the method for their exams. Students also need to apply ideas around working scientifically within the context of each experiment. The science department at Brayton Academy have capitalised on this opportunity to deliver required practical’s in a student led exploration of each scientific concept. Each practical will be conducted over a series of weeks where students have the freedom to theorise, hypothesize and explore the science of investigation. This approach gives our students first-hand accounts of scientific methods and even scientific failure.

Linked in

We acknowledge that five years is a long time to study and remember what can often be difficult scientific content. In an effort to support students in retaining this knowledge, we have introduced our linked in concepts. The science team at Brayton recognise through the big ideas delivery that scientific concepts seldom stand-alone. They interleave and link with a variety of other ideas delivered thorough the five year plan. The science team have meticulously mapped out the curriculum and identified these connections ensuring they are delivered and revisited at every opportunity.

Assessment and feedback cycle

Our assessment cycle is another layer designed to support our student’s journey to GCSE. Accurate tracking is vital within any department and plays a key role in progressing students. In addition to our formal assessment points which are based on GCSE criteria we also have a consolidation cycle. This cycle is aimed at creating a dialogue between staff and their students in the identification and eradication of gaps in knowledge and skills. Following each consolidation point, our students are given an extended opportunity to work on improving their identified individual areas of weakness. This will also be included I regular lines of communication with parents as we strongly believe this journey must be taken together.

Enrichment

To foster a love of the subject and allow students the opportunity to explore science beyond the constraints of the curriculum we also offer termly enrichment events. These events take on a variety of formats but their aim is simple. We want our students to have fun exploring the world of science.

(Photos taken from our CSI enrichment event)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support material

 

GCSE AQA Science Trilogy and Separates (Triple)

Required Practical Investigations

Biology Paper 1

Unit 1 – Cell Biology

Required Practical – Using a microscope

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Required Practical – Investigating the effects of antibiotics and antiseptics

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Required Practical – Osmosis (potato practical)

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Unit 2 – Organisation

Required Practical – Testing for carbohydrates, lipids and proteins

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Required Practical – Investigate the effect of pH on Amylase enzyme

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Unit 3 – Infection and response

No required practical investigations for this unit

Unit 4 – Bioenergetics

Required Practical – Investigating effect of light intensity on photosynthesis

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Biology Paper 2

Unit 5 – Homeostasis and response

Required Practical – Investigating a factor on the effect of reaction times

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  • Reflexes                                         

Required Practical – Investigate the effect of light or gravity on newly germinated seeds

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Unit 6 – Inheritance, variation and evolution

No required practical investigations for this unit

 

Unit 7 – Ecology

Required Practical – Measure population size using sampling techniques

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Required Practical – Rate of decay in milk based on pH change (separate science only)

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Chemistry Paper 1

Unit 1 – Atomic Structure and the periodic table

No required practical investigations for this unit

 

Unit 2 – Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

No required practical investigations for this unit

 

Unit 3 – Quantitative chemistry

No required practical investigations for this unit

 

Unit 4 – Chemical changes

Required Practical – Creating a soluble salt

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Required Practical – Titrations (separate science only)

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Required Practical – Electrolysis

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Unit 5 – Energy changes

Required Practical – Temperature changes

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Chemistry Paper 2

Unit 6 – Rate and extent of chemical change

Required Practical – Rates of reaction

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Unit 7 – Organic chemistry

No required practical investigations for this unit

 

Unit 8 – Chemical Analysis

Required Practical – Chromatography

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Required Practical – Identifying ions

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Unit 9 – Chemistry of the atmosphere

No required practical investigations for this unit

 

Unit 10 – Using Resources

Required Practical – Water purification (separate science only)

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Physics Paper 1

Unit 1 – Energy

Required practical – Specific heat capacity

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Required practical – Testing Insulators (separate science only)

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Unit 2 – Electricity

Required practical – Resistance of a wire

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Required practical – Generating I-V graphs

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Unit 3 – Particle model of matter

Required practical – Calculating density

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Collins Practical worksheet: Method

 

Physics Paper 2

Unit 5 – Forces

Required practical – Acceleration

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Required practical – Force and extension (Hooke’s law)

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Unit 6 – Waves

Required practical – Generating and observing waves

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Required practical – Reflection and refraction

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Required practical – Radiation and absorption (separate science only)

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Extra revision videos

The Brayton Academy